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Fluconazole tablets

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Fluconazole (brand name Canesten Oral Capsule) is an antifungal medicine you take by mouth. You normally take two tablets. Some women prefer taking a tablet to using antifungal pessaries and creams. Both methods work equally well, but taking tablets has more side effects. [18]

There's quite a lot of evidence to show that fluconazole can clear up thrush. We found seven studies, called randomised controlled trials, which found that fluconazole worked well for about 8 in 10 women. [23]

You can ask your doctor for a prescription or buy a single dose at your pharmacy.

You're more likely to have side effects such as headache and nausea if you take a fluconazole tablet. [24] [25] One study found that slightly more than 1 in 10 women taking this medicine got a headache and fewer than 1 in 10 got pain or nausea. [24] But women using creams and pessaries have more problems with skin irritation and discharge from their vaginas.

If you have repeated bouts of thrush (four or more each year) your doctor might prescribe a longer course of fluconazole. This is known as maintenance treatment and it is likely to work. One large study found that 9 in 10 women who took a fluconazole tablet each week for six months no longer had thrush, compared with one-third of the women who took a dummy treatment (a placebo). [26] But many women got thrush again as soon as they stopped their maintenance treatment.

And 3 in 100 people taking fluconazole dropped out of the study because of side effects, including headache.

You shouldn't have this treatment if you are pregnant because it may not be safe for your unborn baby. [19]



A placebo is a 'pretend' or dummy treatment that contains no active substances. A placebo is often given to half the people taking part in medical research trials, for comparison with the 'real' treatment. It is made to look and taste identical to the drug treatment being tested, so that people in the studies do not know if they are getting the placebo or the 'real' treatment. Researchers often talk about the 'placebo effect'. This is where patients feel better after having a placebo treatment because they expect to feel better. Tests may indicate that they actually are better. In the same way, people can also get side effects after having a placebo treatment. Drug treatments can also have a 'placebo effect'. This is why, to get a true picture of how well a drug works, it is important to compare it against a placebo treatment.

randomised controlled trials

Randomised controlled trials are medical studies designed to test whether a treatment works. Patients are split into groups. One group is given the treatment being tested (for example, an antidepressant drug) while another group (called the comparison or control group) is given an alternative treatment. This could be a different type of drug or a dummy treatment (a placebo). Researchers then compare the effects of the different treatments.

For more terms related to Thrush, vagina


For references related to Thrush, vagina click here.
Last Updated: March 13, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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